Laughter and mental health: a case study of Dr Madan Kataria
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to meet Dr Madan Kataria, the founder and creator of Laughter Yoga. Design/methodology/approach: This case study is presented in two sections: a transcribed autobiography of Madan Kataria, followed by a ten-question interview with him. Findings: The popularity of Laughter Yoga (LY) has spread from a handful of people since 1995 to a global movement with tens of thousands of people who commune in person and online, laughing for the health of it. Research limitations/implications: This is a personal narrative, albeit from someone who has been at the forefront of using intentional laughter for well-being for 30 years. Practical implications: LY promotes an array of physical, psychological and emotional health outcomes that does not rely on humour or jokes to stimulate laughter. It is a beneficial resource suited for use in vulnerable population groups, including people experiencing depression or anxiety. Social implications: The LY methodology is suited to people of all ages and abilities, enhancing mental health, decreasing stress levels and growing social connections and community through the universal language of laughter. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first case study and interview with Dr Kataria that delves into his personal background, outlining his motivation and experience behind founding LY internationally.